I recently heard Doug Upchurch of Insights Learning and Development Ltd. make a presentation at the Austin, TX ASTD (American Society For Training and Development) fall conference. One of the first things he asked us was to divide into small groups and describe what we thought when we heard the word "commute?"?? My table came up with words such as "boring, lonely, slow,"?? etc. Then he asked us to think of words associated with the word "road trip?"?? We came up with "fun, people, beer (my contribution) party,"?? etc.Doug then asked us how we viewed our jobs or careers. Is your job a commute or is it a road trip. SCREEEEEECH! That was the sound of my paradigm shifting a couple of degrees.
Ever since I went through the Dale Carnegie Human Relations course in the late 80´s I´ve seen the advantages and importance of having a positive attitude. Several years ago, I first viewed the Fish! Philosophy. Their philosophy, built around a video of Seattle´s Pike Street Fish Market advocates four principles: be there; make their day; choose your attitude; and play. Their philosophy has influenced me as well.
I believe it´s important how each person views their job. If your employees view their jobs as road trips, rather than commutes, their positive attitudes are going to go further in delivering superlative customer service. If you purchase the Fish! Philosophy and work with your employees to translate those principles into customer service policies, then you´re not only going to increase your sales volume, you are most likely going to lower your employee turnover rate resulting in more experienced employees. The more experienced your employees are, the more sales they make. The real benefit to you is less money spent on hiring and training new employees.
"Harrummph, harrumph, Glenn,"?? you say, "our business is too serious for employees to have fun at work."?? Sure you can. You must determine what´s appropriate for your business environment, but even employees of a funeral home can have fun at work. Let me repeat, the more your employees like their work, the more likely they are to stay. The longer they stay, the more productive they will be. The more pro"?¦ well, you know the rest.
People are entitled to joy in their work.
–W. Edward Deming